Time Release Vitamins
The technology used in time-release vitamins and medications is based around micro-beads, which are like very tiny bottles that measure only a few microns in diameter. Each micro-bead contains vitamins, and they are designed to dissolve at different rates; in essence, some micro-beads dissolve quickly, some dissolve over the medium term and some dissolve over the long term. This ensures an even and constant distribution of the valuable vitamin and mineral compounds.
While there is considerable debate in the scientific community regarding whether or not time-release vitamins actually offer any additional benefits, they have, at least in theory, the potential for better absorption in the bloodstream.
When you take a regular vitamin pill, it is rapidly dissolved in the stomach and absorbed in the bloodstream. However, this rapid dissolution of the supplement increases the chances that your body will excrete significant traces of the beneficial vitamins if you go to the bathroom soon after taking it. If you take regular-release vitamin pills, you are best to do so on an empty stomach (and an empty bladder), and don't consume a large volume of fluid for at least 30 to 45 minutes after taking the pill. This will ensure that your body has completely digested and distributed the vitamins and minerals in the supplements.
Time-release vitamin capsules, on the other hand, use micro-technologies to dissolve much more slowly once they reach your digestive system. Thus, the vitamins and minerals they contain are released incrementally into your bloodstream and are absorbed over an extended period of time rather than just a few minutes. This eliminates any chance that a significant percentage of the vitamins will be excreted in bodily waste.